Slender Man might not show up in the sixth season of Ryan Murphy's anthology series American Horror Story, but something the show creator referred to as the "elements of children" will be integral to the themes of the upcoming installment.
Murphy dished on what new viewers and longtime fans could expect from the FX series' newest season, which is currently in development, at PaleyFest on Sunday, March 20. The original (and current) AHS showrunner was joined by Lady Gaga, who recently won a Golden Globe for her turn as the Countess on last season's AHS: Hotel, along with show veterans Sarah Paulson, Finn Wittrock, Denis O'Hare, Angela Bassett, Wes Bentley, Matt Bomer and Cheyenne Jackson.
According to Murphy, season 6 will be a story- and/or theme-related experiment, combining two different factions of storytelling-for-television together; what exactly those are, we don't exactly know.
"The interesting thing about this season is we've been working on two ideas at once, which we've never done," Murphy told the crowd. "So I don't want to say what it maybe is."
"Both things that we're writing right now — we haven't declared a winner — will have a different form, so we're excited about that," he continued. "We'll talk about it soon, but we haven't landed on it yet."
It could be debated that Murphy's "two ideas at once" might have to do with something John Landgraff, FX's head honcho, said in an interview at the TCA press junket this past winter: AHS' sixth season would be set in two different time periods. (Then again, you could say that Murphy has taken that approach before, using flashbacks in prior seasons like Murder House and Coven, so it really is up for interpretation.)
While he mostly remained sparse with the details, Murphy revealed two major things about the next AHS narrative arc: that, as mentioned before, "elements of children" would be prevalent throughout the storyline, and that contrary to what has been previously reported, the Internet meme-inspired, fictional horror character Slender Man would not make an appearance in the show.
As for the "children" bit?
"If you look at horror tropes, the innocence of children, that sort of wide-eyed entryway into some world is always very dramatic and satisfying," Murphy added.